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Alice in Wonderland Day

On July 4, 1862, Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, gave the first telling of what would become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll was on a boat trip on the Isis—also known as the River Thames—from Oxford to Godstow, with his friend Robinson Duckworth, ten-year-old Alice Liddell—who would become the namesake of his book—and her two sisters, Lorina and Edith. The girls were the daughters of Henry Liddell, the dean of Church Christ, Oxford. This was also the school where Carroll taught mathematics. After Carroll's initial telling of the fantastical story, the girls kept asking him to tell it on other days, and urged him to write his story down, which he eventually did. Carroll gave Alice a copy of the book as an early Christmas gift in 1864, and he self-published it in 1865. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland went on to become a landmark children's book.

From the time that Carroll wrote the first version of the story until the time he published his final version, many new characters were added, such as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. While Alice was named after Alice Liddell, the birds Lory and Eaglet were named after her sisters, and the Dodo bird was named after Carroll himself, coming from his real last name, Dodgson. The book has never been out of print and has been translated into almost 200 languages. It was followed by a sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. The book has been adapted to film numerous times, first starting in 1903. It remains a classic over 150 years after its release and is celebrated today, on the anniversary of its first telling.

How to Observe Alice in Wonderland Day

Celebrate the day by reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or the sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. You could also read the diary entry that Carroll wrote about July 4, 1862. There are many film and television adaptations of the book that could be watched, such as Alice in Wonderland from 1903, the 1951 animated film, or Tim Burton's version. You could plan a visit to The British Library, where Alice's copy of the book can be seen. The Story Museum in Oxford holds "Alice's Day" on the first Saturday of July each year, which could also be attended.

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